Wednesday, 19 January 2011

You couldn't make it up

I just caught a little bit of "Count Arthur Strong" on Radio 4 this morning and wondered if my Van had discovered time travelling powers and dumped me back in the late 1950's. How did this anachronism get recommissioned by the BBC and why don't they just re-run the Clitheroe Kid which was much funnier? Also how did the BBC Listing department make such a mistake with that "o".

You won't find many "o"'s in Count Arthur Strong. Here's a sample:

CAS: "I've been queing for tickets for hours."

Ticket Lady: "But we're only selling tickets to see Lady Gaga."

CAS: "To see a lady Gargle? I don't think that's worth paying for".

Yes Arthur, quite. Nor are you.

If I were to write another sit-com my secret would be to base all the characters on real people. They are so much funnier than these so-called comic inventions. Obviously you can't admit they are real.

As an example, here's a scene in a mythical office of a mythical Company (nudge nudge):

Chairman: "Welcome to the Board meeting Ladies and Gentlemen. What's the first thing on the agenda?".

Finance Director: "Well I'm getting seriously concerned with our margins. Can we justify them?"

Chairman: "Are you serious? Are you saying we're making too much profit?"

Finance Director: "No of course not! I'm taking about the margins down the side of the new letterhead. If we drop them down to 10 point Arial we could justify them perfectly and keep Comic Sans for the Header".

Anyway I'm off to watch "Episodes" on BBC  - now this really IS funny!


savannah said...

so, is it funny? are you still watching? i haven't seen it yet! xoxox

Dave said...

I switch off the radio as soon as Count Arthur comes on. It really is appalling drivel. I too couldn't believe they'd recomissioned it.

Bring back The Navy Lark.

Zig said...

'another' sitcom?

did I miss your first?

Christopher said...

Yes, exactly: it wasn't The Goons, was it? Maybe Round the Horne? That show with Jimmy Edwards and the Glums, Ron and Eth? Much Binding? ITMA?

Scarlet Blue said...

Not 100% sure about episodes... but I'm giving it a chance.

Z said...

I agree about the CAS rubbish. I didn't last for more than a minute of the Lenny Henry sitcom yesterday either. You'd write a far better sitcom, Rog.

I enjoyed the first episode of Episodes. I missed the second one. I'll have to catch it online too.

Rog said...

Savannah: It's brilliant.

Dave: Glad you're sound on Count Arthur Strong, and pleased you'd even heard of it!

Zig: Not only did you miss it but commissioning editors from every channel turned it down. It would easily have made E3 of BBC3 today.

Christopher: Ah, happy days! Gathered round a half-timbered radio. I remember straining my sinews trying not to laugh at Round the Horn at Sunday Dinner. Yes, we had the radio on at Sunday Dinner. You should have tried it at your last luncheon party!

Scarlet: It gets funnier by the episode. Check out the party "nibbles" in episode 2.

Z: The thing that is brilliant about the series is that it is the Yanks sending themselves up so well. Who says they don't do irony?

Sarah said...

is your andthe missus?barf.....very good Rog

Annie said...

I KNOW!!! I was especially amazed when I heard it because two of my friends recommended it (they're no longer my friends, clearly.)

Radio 4 should give up on comedy (drama at least.) Though the Secret World was quite good (impressionists - the sketch with Bob Hoskyns trying to rescue Ray Winstone when he'd got tangled up changing a duvet cover did make me laugh.)

Richard said...

Ah, I admit to having a fondness for the Count although I admit it is an acquired taste.

Bring back I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. I think they're all still alive.

Rog said...

Sarah: Me and the Missus is a vintage comic drama with me as John Alderton and her as Nigella Lawson.

Annie: I'll have a look. I've just remembered "Ed Reardon's Week" which is a hidden gem of R4's current schedule - series 7.

Richard: John Shuttleworth does it son much better!

Martin H. said...

I've never heard of CAS either. No bad thing, by your account.

Richard said...

Ed Reardon's Week was good as was the cricket based one, Dave Podmore's World of Cricket also done by Christopher Douglas.

John Shuttleworth is genius.

savannah said...

too funny! thanks for the tip, sugar. xoxxo

Nota Bene said...

Last episode of Episodes was roll in the aisle funny...

Scarlet Blue said...

I agree Nota Bene! It's now shaping up nicely.

Rog said...

Hello and welcome Nota!

Yes it's getting funnier by the episode. And it looks like it's written by Brits but actually the Friends writers were doing it. Hats off.

nottu3a said...

I agree with you, Rog, about Episodes getting funnier ... it's very well written.

BTW, on my screen your YouTube video is too wide. Might I suggest you scale down the width and height values to something like these ...
width="512" height="308"